The Draconity of Storytelling

hollywoodThose who read my analysis of two decades of dualistic films (from Dante’s Peak and Volcano to Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down) might be looking forward to the next few months with some excitement … or dread.

We have two films that might be characterized as “dragon-oriented” flicks. December’s The Desolation of Smaug is the obvious first installment in the possible duality. And, although it is not entirely clear how important the draconian climax of the classic Sleeping Beauty will play in May 2014’s Maleficent, we can reasonably expect some dragon-fire from Disney’s film as well.

The real question, of course, is whether these two films can be said to fit the pattern of “realistic vs. cartoonish” that the other dual films in my analysis had. After all, both are developed from what are ultimately children’s stories. Both are fantasies.

Both dragons, on the other hand, are fairly menacing and to be taken seriously. Smaug, with his Old Testament self-veneration, might have the slight edge as the more serious dragon. Despite Jolie’s expert handling, I fear that Maleficent might stumble into hubristic absurdity as Snow White and the Huntsman did despite Charlize Theron’s genius.

Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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